Bristol Flying Center (BFC), the aviation services provider at the UK’s Bristol Airport, has completed an expansion after its parent company signed two handling contracts, one of them with a regional airline that handles Airbus corporate business. The FBO expects to see its annual passenger numbers increase 1,700 percent as a result of the agreements, which take effect this month. The company has completed two new passenger lounges and a separate crew lounge, along with new security screening facilities and redesigned reception areas in its 6,500-sq-ft terminal.
Eurocopter has signed the first customer for the AS332C1e Super Puma, the “low cost” version of the medium twin. Starlite Aviation, an operator based in Ireland and South Africa, will be the first to fly the new, shorter-fuselage variant. Starlite provides passenger and cargo flights and heavy sling-load operations for, among others, United Nations agencies.
Embraer and Boeing have collaborated on a product called the runway situational awareness (RSA) tool to help reduce runway excursions. The announcement comes eight months after the two airframers agreed to look for ways to cooperatively enhance the value of both companies, and a couple of weeks after rival Airbus took a similar initiative.
Just a week after release of an airworthiness directive to address blockages in the angle-of-attack (AOA) systems installed on Airbus A330/340s, the European Aviation Safety Agency has included other models of the Airbus series in the procedural updates.
Under the codename X6, Eurocopter is reported to be about to launch a new helicopter line that will supersede the AS332/EC225 Super Puma medium-twin series, according to French financial publication Sud Infos. The Marignane, France-based manufacturer reportedly aims to have the new helicopter in service by 2020. The first AS332 Super Puma was delivered in 1981.
The Airbus Corporate Jet Centre has signed a customized support package covering the two Airbus ACJs that the center has delivered to Russia’s state flight department, which flies the aircraft on government transport duties. The support contract is part of ACJC’s VIP Pass, a program that provides support dedicated to the ACJ, rather than relying on airliner-type MRO support.
Sabena Technics (Stand 619) is promoting its capabilities in VIP aircraft completion and refurbishment, as company officials see the Middle East as a fertile region for its business. The company, whose parent TAT Group is based in Tours, France, also is engaged in aircraft leasing and real estate businesses. It plans to open a showroom in Bordeaux, France, where customers can plan their interiors.
Airbus Corporate Jets launched its new Gala cabin concept for the ACJ330/340 widebodies today at MEBA 2012. The concept is applicable to A330s and A340s, which essentially have the identical cabins between doors two and three. In this cabin zone, Airbus proposes the installation of a VVIP fit encompassing a master bedroom, master office and conference area. Governments requiring head-of-state aircraft are seen as the main potential customers.
With FBOs in Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh, and additional maintenance and management services at other locations, Jet Aviation (Stand 590) is one of the major business aviation players in the Middle East. The company has recently announced a number of developments for the region, including new capability for its Dubai-based MRO and FBO center.
That new capability comes in the form of FAA approval to perform base maintenance on the Bombardier Challenger 604 and 605, and light scheduled maintenance (A checks) on the Airbus single-aisle family (A318/319/320/321).
The French and German governments have agreed to reduce their shareholdings in EADS to 12 percent each, and drop their veto rights over key decisions. Spain will hold 4 percent. EADS said the pact will normalize and simplify its governance, while still allowing the three countries “to protect their legitimate strategic interests.”